John & Kari Kroshus Family History

Kroshus Family Roots in Hadeland, Norway

Location in Norway Location in Oppland County The area in Norway from which both John and Kari emigrated is commonly known as Hadeland.  At the southernmost tip of Oppland County, Hadeland is located just 40 miles from Oslo and is made up of the kommunes (political units similar to townships) of Gran, Jevnaker, and Lunner.  Today's Gran kommune includes most of the historic district of Brandbu.  John and Kari's ancestors lived on farms in Brandbu, which is the northern part of today's Gran.

farm map

This map on the left shows the location of the farms in Hadeland.
The Molstad farm is highlighted
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John was born on a tenant's place on the Molstad farm in Brandbu.
This photo of the main farm was taken in 2015.  
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Kari's father Peder owned Gudmundshagen, the farm on which she was born. This farm is not shown on the map on the right; however, it was located near the Tingelstad farm.

John and Kari grew up as close neighbors and the families likely attended the same church.  Both John and his wife Oline and Kari and her husband Halvor were living on the Dvergsten farm before their immigrations.  It is safe to say that John and Kari knew each other well before they met again in Wisconsin.

Brandbu is made up mostly of rolling hills, bordered on the west by a long slender lake called the Randsfjorden.  This is one of the most productive agricultural areas in Norway.

Tenant farmers were usually required to donate most of their time to work on the owner's behalf.  They often had a small piece of ground where they could plant a garden, tend a small field, or maintain livestock for their own use or income.  In addition, many tenant farmers developed saleable skills and earned additional money as shoemakers, tailors, blacksmiths, or lumberjacks.  Some tenants were able to negotiate lifetime leases on their postage stamp-sized subfarms, occasionally with a right of lease inheritance.  Others simply received a small living space in return for their work on the owner's farm.  On rare occasions, tenant farmers were able to purchase their small holdings from the farm owner.  Inheritance was reserved for the oldest son.  With large families and limited real estate, many sons of landowners became tenant farmers.

Visit the Hadeland Lag of America WebsiteThe Hadeland Lag of America is an organization of descendants of immigrants from the Hadeland area of Norway.  Their website is full of interesting photos, facts, and links from Hadeland. There's also membership information available.










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